A new study took a deep dive into nearly 99 percent of all land to assess the overall ecological effects of crops, livestock, and seafood.
Researchers gathered data and information on food production’s effects on the planet, like the disruption of natural habitats, water use and pollution, and contribution to global warming. The research identified the regions and the food production practices that have the largest negative impact on the planet.
Ben Halpern, the study’s lead author says that it is a new way for us to see what we eat and how it is affecting the world.
“We need to be thinking about the multiple ways that food affects the environment,” Halpern, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, told the Washington Post.
“The results we’ve presented show how you can use more information about these multiple stressors and the global scale of our food production consequences to influence your individual choice.”
Food from hunters and backyard gardens was not included. Non-food crops like coffee, tea, and tobacco were also not included in the study.
It’s no surprise that cattle and the beef industry are one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. They also found that pig farms have a huge impact on water quality. They found that pig and cattle meat scored far ahead of any other food items. The study claims that pork may have an even higher environmental impact than beef because of the pig feces that build up and contaminate waterways.
The study found that seafood has a disproportionately large impact both on land and in the ocean. Although it only produces 1.1 percent of the world’s food, aquatic systems are responsible for 9.9 percent of the food system’s overall environmental impact, the study found.
The study found that nearly half of the effects on the food system can be traced back to five countries: India, China, the United States, Brazil, and Pakistan. These countries produce food that has a greater environmental impact.
Study after study has also shown that high meat consumption comes with an expensive climate price tag – a Chatham House study released in December cited livestock production as the largest global source of methane and nitrous oxide, two particularly potent greenhouse gases. With one-third of the planet’s arable land used for raising livestock, along with extensive air and water pollution and direct threats to wildlife and their habitat from grazing cattle, the same goes for the toll of meat production on endangered species and our remaining wild lands.
Choosing to eat vegan and live a vegan lifestyle does not harm animals, is better for your health, and doesn’t Support these cruel industries!
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Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
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